Valvular endocarditis has been well described in northern sea otters Enhydra lutris kenyoni of Alaska and in many cases no cause has been identified. It is also one of the most common conditions observed in people with chronic Coxiella burnetii infection. Given the high levels of C. burnetii exposure in marine mammals distributed throughout the same geographic range as the northern sea otter, and the presence of valvular lesions seen in otters, the objective of this study was to determine the level of C. burnetii exposure in otters and investigate any association between exposure, infection and valvular disease in this species. Archived serum from 75 live captured, apparently healthy otters (25 from each of 3 stocks) and 30 dead otters were tested for C. burnetii antibodies by indirect florescent antibody assay (IFA). Archived bone marrow and heart valves were tested for C. burnetii DNA by real-time PCR (qPCR). Overall, the seroprevalence in live otters was 17%, with significantly more exposed animals in the south central (40%) stock relative to the southwest (8%) and southeast (4%). The seroprevalence of animals sampled post mortem was 27%, although none of the bone marrow or heart valve samples were positive by qPCR. Results of this study failed to demonstrate a significant association between C. burnetii infection and valvular endocarditis in sea otters; however, the differing seroprevalence suggests that exposure opportunities vary geographically.
The study objective was to get more information on C. burnetii prevalence in wild birds and ticks feeding on them, and the potentialities of the pathogen dissemination over Europe by both.
Blood, blood sera, feces of wild birds and ticks removed from those birds or from vegetation were studied at two sites in Russia: the Curonian Spit (site KK), and the vicinity of St. Petersburg (site SPb), and at two sites in Bulgaria: the Atanasovsko Lake (site AL), and the vicinity of Sofia (site SR).
C. burnetii DNA was detected in blood, feces, and ticks by PCR (polymerase chain reaction). All positive results were confirmed by Sanger's sequencing of 16SrRNA gene target fragments. The antibodies to C. burnetii in sera were detected by CFR (complement fixation reaction).
Eleven of 55 bird species captured at KK site hosted Ixodes ricinus. C. burnetii DNA was detected in three I. ricinus nymphs removed from one bird (Erithacus rubecula), and in adult ticks flagged from vegetation: 0.7% I. persulcatus (site SPb), 0.9% I. ricinus (site KK), 1.0% D. reticulatus (AL site). C. burnetii DNA was also detected in 1.4% of bird blood samples at SPb site, and in 0.5% of those at AL site. Antibodies to C. burnetii were found in 8.1% of bird sera (site SPb). C. burnetii DNA was revealed in feces of birds: 0.6% at AL site, and 13.7% at SR site.
Both molecular-genetic and immunological methods were applied to confirm the role of birds as a natural reservoir of C. burnetii. The places of wild bird stopover in Russia (Baltic region) and in Bulgaria (Atanasovsko Lake and Sofia region) proved to be natural foci of C. burnetii infection. Migratory birds are likely to act as efficient "vehicles" in dispersal of C. burnetii -infested ixodid ticks.
Ruminants are considered the main reservoir for transmission of Coxiella burnetii (Cb) to humans. The implementation of effective control measures against Cb in ruminants requires knowledge about potential risk factors. The objectives of this study were (i) to describe the spatial distribution of Q fever-infected dairy cattle herds in Sweden, (ii) to quantify the respective contributions of wind and animal movements on the risk of infection, while accounting for other sources of variation, and (iii) to investigate the possible protective effect of precipitation. A total of 1537 bulk milk samples were collected and tested for presence of Cb antibodies. The prevalence of test-positive herds was higher in the south of Sweden. For herds located in areas with high wind speed, open landscape, high animal densities and high temperature, the risk of being infected reached very high values. Because these factors are difficult to control, vaccination could be an appropriate control measure in these areas. Finally, the cumulated precipitation over 1 year was identified as a protective factor.
Cites: Vet Microbiol. 2000 Mar 15;72(3-4):285-9310727838
The authors carried out complex study of combined foci of infections with natural foci in Western Siberia and their reflection in human pathology. The results of serological examination of 5917 persons and of 1743 of farm animals in respect to tick-borne encephalitis, Asian tick-borne rickettsiosis, Q-rickettsiosis, and leptospiroses are analysed. Affection of the population with all the four infections in all the landscape zones under study was shown; the intensity of this affection with different infections differed. Combined natural foci of the mentioned infections were found to be widespread; epidemiological significance of such combination was unequal in different ladscapes, this depending on the ladscape characteristics of the natural foci of infections under study and of different ways of transmission of their causative agents.
The indirect microimmunofluorescence test was used to determine the presence of antibodies to phase I and phase II Coxiella burnetii antigens in New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island cats. Twenty of 104 (19.2%) New Brunswick cats tested had antibodies to phase II antigen; five of these (4.8%) also had antibodies to phase I antigen. Six of 97 (6.2%) Prince Edward Island cats tested had antibodies to phase I and phase II antigens. Our data suggest that cats may be important in the epidemiology of Q fever in these provinces.